Steelers notebook: Adams back at natural left tackle position

| Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, 7:57 p.m.

Mike Adams is naturally left-handed, and with his size (6-foot-7, 325 pounds) and ability would appear to be a natural left tackle. The Steelers apparently believe so, too.

They've flip-flopped Adams and Marcus Gilbert, with Adams now playing left tackle and Gilbert taking over at right tackle in competition with Kelvin Beachum. Adams welcomes the move even if he won't say so publicly.

“I like it,” Adams said. “That's what I've always played until last year, so take it for what it's worth.”

Adams always played the left side at Ohio State, but with Max Starks already at left tackle, he made his first six NFL starts last season on the right side. Adams said if he's needed to play the right side later, he has no problem with that.

“Whatever happens happens,” he said. “Wherever they need me to play.”

Asked how the move is going, center Maurkice Pouncey suggested it has been seamless.

“I didn't even realize it until Ramon (Foster) told me,” Pouncey said.

• The Steelers offensive linemen are excited they'll finally get to cut block, a tactic — it involves taking out a defender's knees — that their own defensive linemen complained about when they've played against teams such as the Broncos. The Steelers will utilize it while zone blocking. “We can't wait for it,” Pouncey said. “We can't cut our guys in practice, so we can't wait to see what it feels like to do it in a game. You see all the other teams do it in the NFL and are really, really successful with it, and, hopefully, the same thing happens for us.”

• Another Steelers practice and another cornerback gone with an injury. Curtis Brown twisted his ankle while defending a play in the end zone during a two-minute drill Monday and was carted to the locker room. “We need to evaluate him, but I will just describe it as an ankle at this point,” coach Mike Tomlin said.

• The Steelers got a little healthy with the return of Larry Foote, Matt Spaeth, Nick Williams and Le'Veon Bell. But a number of players sat out, including Troy Polamalu, Jason Worilds, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Plaxico Burress, Steve McLendon, Lawrence Timmons, Jarvis Jones, Terry Hawthorne and Demarcus Van Dyke.

Ike Taylor's steak of 135 consecutive games played came to a halt last year when he missed the final four games. He said fear of missing games again is the main reason he spent the majority of the offseason working out. “I was never put in that position before of being hurt and not be able to play. It just made me work even harder in the offseason to come back even stronger.”

• The Steelers activated nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu from the physically unable to perform list, leaving only Heath Miller (knee), Sean Spence (knee) and David Johnson (knee) on the PUP list. “Physically I feel like I am behind, but mentally I feel like I am where I need to be by watching film and keeping up with the boys,” Ta'amu said.

• The Steelers hosted retired Marine Sgt. Doug Vitale and his wife Alexis on Monday. Vitale, 26, stepped on a land mine in 2011 while on patrol with his unit in Afghanistan and lost both legs and has suffered strokes on both sides of his brain. Vitale lost his speech and was paralyzed on the right side.

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